Have a look at the cycle lanes. How many female riders do you see, and how many men in lycra? What is wrong with this picture? And why is it women aren’t getting out, getting on two wheels and cycling around in huge numbers?
Because it is a sport for everyone, and now is the time for a whole lot more women to get in the saddle and feel the adrenaline rush and sheer pleasure of cycling.
Even a cursory look at the statistics shows there is an unacceptable gender gap in British cycling – a gap that’s wide enough to drive a horse and carriage through. This is the time for it to close.
Young, old, pregnant, single, married, apprentices, bosses, mums, daughters, grans, friends or family. City or rural, elite or egalitarian – women, this is the time to start cycling.
And while half of Europe’s cyclists are women, in the UK just one in five people on two wheels is female. Why is that?
Should we fear a particularly virulent case of man-spreading on Britain’s cycling routes? Or is it a case of women being more worried about the potential dangers from other road users than men?
In fact, there’s never been a better time for women to get on a bike. There are more miles of cycle lanes than ever before. Bike shops are becoming friendlier, their knowledgeable staff eager to help you pick out the perfect bike for you.
Take a look at pretty well any town in Britain – there are millions of journeys by car that could easily be made by bike.
Cycling is better for our environment, our health and our pockets – and for those all-important muscle groups – core, calves and quads in particular. After all, millions of men have seen the benefits, and this is the time for women to start enjoying them too.
Today, women’s cycling is more exciting than it’s ever been. British women cyclists are winning world titles and Olympic golds.
This year’s UK Women’s Tour has equitable prize money with the men’s tour for the first time – and thousands of spectators will be lining the streets of the UK this weekend to catch a glimpse of the leaders racing to become the champions of Britain.
What’s more, for the first time, the design of Strava’s King and Queen of the Mountain jerseys are identical this year.
And while there’s a long way to go to get women’s professional cycling the profile and funding it deserves, progress is being made, and change is coming.
#ThisIsOurTime is a campaign supported by ŠKODA, the car company that was born on two wheels when it began as a bicycle manufacturer more than 120 years ago.
Catch a glimpse of any professional international cycling event and you’ll see ŠKODA’s cars being used by the teams to carry cycles, cyclists and kit through towns and countryside.
ŠKODA’s support of women’s professional cycling events is one of the ways it will get more women cycling in 2018.
If you already cycle, add some green tape to your own bike (you can pick it up from ŠKODA retailers this summer) and show your support for the campaign.
Here, we let ŠKODA’s own supporters and some rather convincing statistics do the talking in the hope it will inspire more women to get on a bike. For more information, ideas and inspiration on women’s cycling, visit tgr.ph/skoda or search #ThisIsOurTime on social media.
ŠKODA want to do their bit to put right the gender imbalance in cycling. To find out what they are doing to help make cycling available to all, visit skoda.co.uk/cycling